It’s coming up on the first anniversary of Guild Wars 2. I honestly can’t believe it. So much has happened, but in many ways it feels like it was just yesterday that the game was releasing. A lot has happened in the GW2 scene, both in game and in the community surrounding it. In many ways, it feels like this was ANet’s freshman year in college. There were so many ways they could go, so much they could do, and they needed to do some experimentation and soul searching to figure out where they wanted to end up. As we close the year, I think ANet is ready to declare its major, metaphorically speaking.
Things have been pretty interesting lately in the GW2 development sphere. When I last wrote about the state of things, we were just coming into the last phases of the return to Southsun. I mentioned previously that I thought the Living Story (LS) had a lot of promise. It gives ways to revitalize oft-ignored areas of the world, it gives ways to have targeted market manipulation via zone-specific buffs and/or drops, and it gives a way to extend the storytelling aspect on a frequent basis. I still believe all of these things. Apparently, so does ANet. According to Eurogamer, ANet plans to dive head first into crazy-land and has no plans for expansions for at least the next two years, planning to focus entirely on LS and core gameplay updates like LFG tools. In other words:
I honestly don’t have much to say about the SAB. All I can say is that it’s amazing. Once again, ANet has given us some really, truly fantastic free content with some great skins to attain. As a child of the 90′s, this hits me in all the right places. The phenomenal music, the amazing commercial, and general aesthetics are just so spot on. It’s like playing all the games of my childhood all at once, all wrapped into a package that rewards me with kick-ass skins. Really, hat’s off ANet. I really hope you add the future levels, I think the community welcomes the distraction from their Legendary quests or whatever else they are occupied with.
Also, the addition of both infantile mode, and a plethora of much more difficult achievements have really ensured that players of all skill levels can find something to enjoy. Whether you just want to see the scenes and experience nostalgia frisson, or be awarded with the Distinction in Applied Jumping title for completing everything, the SAB has it all. Kudos.
It’s been almost 4 months since my last post. It feels crazy to write that out, but the time has surely flown. Real life has gotten in the way of a lot of things, and this blog was surely one of the first things to get neglected. However, I’m still playing the game, now more than ever (except launch of course), and I have been thinking a lot about the current state of the game. As always, I have a few criticisms of some of the design decisions and/or implementations. On the whole, the game is still quite solid and thriving. However, I feel that one of their central tenants, “Play the game your way”, has mostly fallen to the wayside. A more accurate slogan would be, “Play the game your way, unless you want to earn money or actually gear more than one character.”
It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything here. Mostly, I’ve just been really busy, both with real life and with playing. With all the flurry of activity surrounding Halloween and the Lost Shores, I’ve found myself with quite a lot to cover, and quite a bit to say about it. There have been some highs, and some lows in the past few weeks, and I think that Guild Wars 2 is in for some turbulent waters as they chart their future course.
Wow. It’s been almost two whole weeks since the pre-release of Guild Wars 2, and so much has happened. Any of you who normally see me around have possibly noticed almost a complete absence over the past two weeks, and I think we all know the reason. It seems an appropriate amount of time to wait before giving my thoughts on everything that has happened. It’s been a pretty amazing ride so far, with a few ups and downs, and it amazes me still how much there is to this game.
Five years is a long time. A lot can change in a person’s life, and thinking back on everything that has happened is both amazing and humbling. I wrote about the excitement of each announcement relating to GW2 leading up to the final release date announcement about a month ago now, but GuildMag decided to run one more Blog Carnival about our personal experiences and growth in the last five years. I originally wasn’t going to write anything, because I feel that I’ve probably already covered it in the past, but then I read this. Ravious really got me thinking about all the emotions I’ve had, especially personal experiences that I haven’t often shared, so I think this is the perfect time to do so.
In 42 days, we will have our hands on the game. It seems so close, and so far away! On top of that, we get to play in one last pre-launch hurrah with BWE3 next week. Personally, I’m having a hard time knowing what to do with myself. I have however found a few things that have kept me occupied and entertained in the mean time, and am making some plans for how to spend BWE3 to maximize my experience. This is going to be a shorter than most, but mostly I just wanted to give a shout-out to a few community members that are doing some neat things.
It’s finally here. I’m going to say that again, just to get the tingles that accompany it: it’s finally here. We have a concrete release date for GW2. No longer will we have to speculate, dissect every piece of information, and feel like we are taking shots in the dark. It’s finally here. I just can’t stop saying it. We’ve come a really long way together as a community. We’ve seen huge swings in information, excitement, and numbers throughout the past 5 years. Just thinking about the history of GW and GW2 combined is staggering. A total of 7 years, 4 months, and a few days separated the release of GW1 and GW2. For those of you still in primary/secondary school, that is over half the time you will spend in your pre-college years. For those who are/were in university, that’s almost 2 full degrees worth. To put it in terms for those of us die-hard GW1-ers, we’ve been waiting for GW2 for almost three times as long as new content was being released for GW1. And our wait is finally coming to an end. I’m just going to take another minute to let this feeling sink in.
A lot has happened in the past month since my previous post. We’ve had another closed beta, this time including a much larger sample size, we’ve had pre-purchase sign-ups, and now we’re coming up on a real, honest to god, “open beta”. Yes, I know, it’s not technically “open”, but it is open to everyone that has purchased it now. For many members of our community, this is going to be the very first foray into the new world of Tyria. Between the press beta coverage outlets, there has been a ton of really great information about the game. Ravious over at KTR detailed a great list of 10 things to remember when you first step foot into GW2, so instead of talking directly about the game, I’m going to take a few minutes to talk about us, the prospective players.